Dealing with "alias" names in a dimension

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Dealing with "alias" names in a dimension

Post  dbaker on Fri Aug 24, 2012 3:12 pm

Maybe this is a simple problem, but I just can't seem to get my head around it.

I have a "location" dimension that stores a location name and attributes related to a "location". Over time, a location can be assigned additional names ("aliases"). When users query my DW based on location, I want to let them query either by the original location name, or by any aliases that may have been created over time. I don't really care when additional "aliases" were created, I just want to let users query by the original location name or by any aliases.

This doesn't seem to fit into a normal "type 2" SCD situation since I really don't want to partition history based on when an alias was assigned -- I just want to show all current + history under the particular alias chosen by the user. I do know that I don't want users to accidentally double-count because they've inadvertently picked a location twice (by accidentally picking multiple aliases for a single location).

Anyway, can anyone give me some advice on how to deal with this? Thank you in advance.

dbaker

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Re: Dealing with "alias" names in a dimension

Post  ngalemmo on Fri Aug 24, 2012 4:51 pm

Use a separate structure with alias and natural key, or alias and type 2 key (and the maintenance process to support it). Or you can put limits on the use of aliases and simplify things.
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